It's 2020 and email marketing is still a versatile tool that belongs in any marketer's arsenal. Unlike other forms of digital marketing, the business has complete control over email marketing including the costs, the message, the email list, how you reach out, and more.
Email as a way of communication isn't dying down either. In fact, a well targeted email list can become a strong selling point for any business. In this article, you'll come to understand why email marketing is great for driving sales and retaining customers, and best of all, it's free (once you have built your list).
Email automation is the most powerful tool in email marketing. The purpose of automation is to nurture your visitors into paying customers by providing the right information in the form of email at the right time. If done effectively, you can gain and retain clients without any active effort.
There are some basics to email automation. For example, an eCommerce company would want to automate their abandoned cart emails (when a customer adds a product to cart but does not purchase), post purchase confirmation email, shipping email and testimonial emails. Many platforms offer a similar service.
However, there are more complex automations that are sometime required depending on your business and industry. For example, a business-to-business (B2B) company would not have such a straight forward buyers journey.
The most difficult task is to understand what your leads want to know and when they want to hear it. There are some best practices but ultimately, it comes down to testing and understanding your customer segment(s). For example, a luxury car dealership may not want to bombard customers with promotional emails 1 day after meeting, whereas a basic goods retailer selling soap or shampoo may want to do just that.
This comes back to the customer journey.
Don't overwhelm your customers but give them space to explore. Here's something to think about... are your customers at a stage where they are interested in your product but still researching other competitors? Perhaps your email should include a link to your testimonials page and also your pricing page. This allows the consumer to choose what is more important to them, or maybe even both. Some people may be better swayed by reviews while others are more influenced by cost. Providing options within the email allows for customers to complete their journey more efficiently.
An interactive experience also relates to the visual appeal of the message as a whole. It is hard to "interact" with an email if it just black text on a white page with links. Relate your email design back to your brand. Are you a restaurant with online booking? Send a visual menu in the reservation confirmation email. Showcase some of your specials and information about them. These are small things which can be done to make your customer experience special.
Creating a Visual Message
Gone are the days where marketers can simply write a block of text and expect amazing results. Everyone's mailbox is stuffed with messages and it is a time crunch to have your message read. That's why you must make your message stand out, and I don't mean just having a subject line that is eye catching. Even the visual content in your email should be well planned. Consider things like colors and the call to action button. Does it stand out visually? What makes your email more visually appealing than the other 200 unread messages in their inbox?
Email marketing is versatile because it allows a business to have full control over the message's distribution and content. The future of many third party advertisers like Google and Facebook is headed towards in-platform browsing, forcing sellers to comply with certain rules and keeping potential buyers away from the seller's website. Furthermore, algorithmic tweaks on both the organic and paid sections of a search engine like Google can cause significant roadblocks to your success.
That's why growing a dedicated email list in 2020 is very important, especially for a small business which may have a hard time competing on the Google search results or Facebook paid ad space.
Make it Mobile
Most email platforms (Google Mail, Campaign Monitor) indicate that more than 50% of all email is read on the phone. That's why mobile optimization (making your email easily readable on mobile) is important. Here are some things to check:
- Is my text size readable on desktop and mobile?
- Are the links accessible across all platforms?
- Will the email content resize correctly on mobile?
- Are my images displaying correctly on mobile?
I hope these points encouraged you to start your email marketing plan or invest more time into one. As a free tool that has great long term potential, this is the one digital marketing skill you really need in your arsenal!